Sony appears to be gauging interest in a digital rental service for PSP games, adding even more fuel to the fire regarding the long-rumored a PSN-centric and UMD-less model of the PSP.
"How likely would you be to consider a PSP games download rental service?" That was the question asked by a recent online survey distributed by market research firm TNS Interactive.
The survey proposed several specific subscription models for such a service, with varying degrees of monthly payments corresponding to the amount of rentals available per month. It also brought up the idea of a service that "also offered the ability to download extra games in addition to your subscription allowance."
So it seems that Sony is, at the least, considering a PSP game rental service, presumably via PSN. If a report from Develop is to be believed, however, they're doing more than that. According to Develop's source, Sony was shopping the service around to developers at GDC behind closed doors.
So what does this mean for the oft-rumored PSP 2/Go!/etc that will lack a UMD and instead be based wholly around digital downloads for its games? Saying that if Sony's willing to rent games online means that it's ready to sell them online and do nothing but that is a bit of a hasty conclusion.
But consider this: In a question asking how a rental service would impact game purchasing habits, the survey lists three habits that could be impacted: purchasing a pre-owned game, purchasing a game from a store, or purchasing and downloading a game. Regardless of whether or not the PSP Go! rumors pan out, Sony clearly has download services on the mind.